- Rhymes: -æni
From Middle English crany, crani (“cranny”), apparently a diminutive of Middle English *cran (+ -y), from Old French cran, cren (“notch, fissure”), a derivative of Old French crener (“to notch, split”), from Medieval Latin crenō (“split”, verb), from Vulgar Latin *crinō (“split, break”, verb), of obscure origin. Despite a spurious use in Pliny, connection to Latin crēna is doubtful. Instead, probably of Germanic or Celtic origin. Compare Old High German chrinna (“notch, groove, crevice”), Alemannic German Krinne (“small crack, channel, groove”), Low German karn (“notch, groove, crevice, cranny”), Old Irish ara-chrinin (“to perish, decay”).
cranny (plural crannies)
- A small, narrow opening, fissure, crevice, or chink, as in a wall, or other substance.
- He peeped into every cranny.
- In a firm building, the cavities ought not to be filled with rubbish, but with brick or stone fitted to the crannies.
- A tool for forming the necks of bottles, etc.
- (intransitive) To break into, or become full of, crannies.
- The ground did cranny everywhere.
- (intransitive) To haunt or enter by crannies.
- All tenantless, save to the crannying wind.
Perhaps for cranky.
- (Britain, dialect) quick; giddy; thoughtless
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Halliwell to this entry?)
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.